RIYADH: The second edition of the Fintech Accelerator Program has gained ground in fostering the fintech space in Saudi Arabia, with 500 startups applying for the program and 12 new companies making the cut this year.
What made the activity successful is that the 12 companies bagged more investment than the first edition held last year, said a senior official.
“There is growth when it comes to the investments, and this is also in alignment with the growth that we’re seeing in the sector,” Nizar Al-Haidar, active director, Fintech Saudi, told Arab News.
Launched by Saudi Central Bank in partnership with Capital Market Authority in 2018, Fintech Saudi nurtures the development of fintech services in Saudi Arabia.
“We’ve had a lot of success with the companies during the program. They were able to meet investors and secure their investment rounds,” he added.
The accelerator program ranges from three to four months, where companies receive mentorship, consultation, and an opportunity to fine-tune their business models from advisers in different sectors.
“We hope to take them from their current stage and develop and fine-tune their products and services and take them to the next stage of their journey,” Al-Haidar said.
As part of the Fintech Accelerator Program Demo Day, 21 fintech companies showcased their innovative products and solutions to investors, banks, potential partners, other key stakeholders in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and members of the fintech community.
“The sector has gained significant support from the Saudi government with the recently approved fintech strategy, as there are almost 90 companies currently operating in the Kingdom,” added Al-Haidar.
Moreover, fintech was ranked first in the region based on the number of deals in the first half of 2022, raising $95 million across 17 deals, according to a recent report released by venture data firm MAGNiTT.
Al-Haidar hopes to go beyond these numbers. But, he said: “the opportunity is there. The growth is there, and the support from the government and the regulators is there as well.”